The Primal Creation — reblogged

The garden of Eden with the fall of man (from here) *74.3 × 114.7 cm *signed b.l.: PETRI PAVLI RVBENS FIGR. *signed b.r.: IBRUEGHEL FEC *circa 1615
The garden of Eden with the fall of man
(from here)

madblog has a thoughtful post on marriage, The Primal Creation. Here she discusses what defines marriage.

Oddly, given that Christians supposedly do not discuss sex, ‘s post is fundamentally about the definition of sex. Yet there is nothing obscene in what she has written. It something we should all know about, but many don’t.

What makes a marriage a marriage? We need to define it before we re-define it.  What is distinct about it?  What makes marriage…marriage?

I think we misunderstand it, and that is pure tragedy.

Man and woman were made in the image of God. They were created beings who were able to relate to God; sentient and self-aware; in His image because they possessed spirits. Out of all that God created, man is the only being who is able to commune with God.

God called this creation something special. Together they were His joy, His most cherished creation. We were created for this relationship with God, and cultivating this relationship with God is man’s responsibility and his privilege.

God created man. Then woman was made from man. Note that she was not created a separate being or species.  They are two manifestations of the same created being.  She was made from him. So intrinsically was she created to be the one who completed him. They are inseparable.

Genesis 2: 23-25:

The man said,

         “This is now bone of my bones,

         And flesh of my flesh;

         She shall be called Woman,

         Because she was taken out of Man.”

For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

(continued here)

What is the problem that results from a meaningless definition of marriage? We call the family the building block of society. What if that building block disappeared? What if an all-powerful state became THE FAMILY? What if women just served as breeders.  What if all children, especially those with “potential,” were raised by a true nanny state? What if Big Brother becomes our children’s and grandchildren’s reality?

HOW DO THE BEST AND BRIGHTEST BECOME MEEBOTS?

Luca Giordano – Dream of Solomon – God promises Solomon Wisdom. (from here)
Luca Giordano – Dream of Solomon – God promises Solomon Wisdom. (from here)

The Subject Of This Post

About a year ago ColorStorm defined what it means to be a meebot.

What is a meebot? It is a person of any gender or age, which views everything and everyone through his own selfishness. It is a person who has a pet, and wants to make it the pet for everyone. It is a person who lacks respect for authority. It is a person with the loudest of voices who has the least to say. It is a person who lacks manners, and it is a little thoughtless machine. (more here)

In his post, explains how a poorly disciplined child can become a meebot. Yet what about our best and our brightest? How do people who have supposedly received a proper education become adult meebots? To tell us, the Bible gives us an example, King Solomon. Tradition says Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived. Therefore, it seems quite strange that he could have become a meebot, and yet it seems for a time he was one.

What The Bible Tells Us

Solomon started off with promise. Imagine having the dream that Solomon experienced (1 Kings 3:1-15). What could go wrong after that? What dream? Not too long after his crowning as King of Israel, Solomon slept, and as he slept God spoke to him. God said, “Ask! What shall I give you?” Because God was pleased when Solomon asked for wisdom, God also gave him a long life and riches.

So what went wrong? Well, God did not want the Israelites to be like the Peoples of other nations, but He knows our disposition. He knew the Israelites would insist upon having a king (1 Samuel 8). So He warned them, but Solomon, wise though he was did not heed God’s warning.

Deuteronomy 17:14-20 New King James Version (NKJV)

Principles Governing Kings

14 “When you come to the land which the Lord your God is giving you, and possess it and dwell in it, and say, ‘I will set a king over me like all the nations that are around me,’ 15 you shall surely set a king over you whom the Lord your God chooses; one from among your brethren you shall set as king over you; you may not set a foreigner over you, who is not your brother. 16 But he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, for the Lord has said to you, ‘You shall not return that way again.’ 17 Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold for himself.

18 “Also it shall be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write for himself a copy of this law in a book, from the one before the priests, the Levites. 19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God and be careful to observe all the words of this law and these statutes, 20 that his heart may not be lifted above his brethren, that he may not turn aside from the commandment to the right hand or to the left, and that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children in the midst of Israel.

Solomon acquired horses (1 Kings 4:26-28), and he had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots.  Solomon horded great wealth (1 Kings 10:14-29). Each year he received 666 talents of gold. Yet these things did not turn Solomon’s heart from God. 

What did turn Solomon from the Lord?

1 Kings 11:1-8 New King James Version (NKJV)

11 But King Solomon loved many foreign women, as well as the daughter of Pharaoh: women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites— from the nations of whom the Lord had said to the children of Israel, “You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart. For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the Lord his God, as was the heart of his father David. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and did not fully follow the Lord, as did his father David. Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, on the hill that is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the abomination of the people of Ammon. And he did likewise for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods.

Reading that passage above you may wonder, “so what if Solomon worshiped foreign gods?” Well, putting anything before the One True God leads to sin, and worshiping the gods that Solomon’s wives led him to worship led to the most heinous sins. The worship of Molech (or Milcom), especially gruesome, involved sacrificing one’s firstborn to a red-hot iron idol.

Was Solomon saved? Probably. If we repent of our sins, God will forgive us, and it seems Solomon did repent. Tradition gives King Solomon credit for writing three books of the Bible: the Song of Songs, the Book of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes.

The relevant book here is Ecclesiastes. In Ecclesiastes Solomon wrote of his attempts to find happiness without God. He did not succeed. In fact, Ecclesiastes is the story of a life spent fruitlessly, pointlessly, and unhappily. It is the story of a sad, lonely, hopelessly and desperately bored cynic. Solomon had every material thing a man could want. Yet because he had turned from God, he found himself with nothing and no one he cared about.

Strangely, Ecclesiastes says nothing about the worship of evil gods. Why not? I suspect the reason is this. No one loves a god such as those Solomon worshiped. Instead, foolish men sacrifice their virtue for the sake of what they hope an evil god will give them as a reward. Therefore, Ecclesiastes belittles the material rewards of this world. Without the One True God there is no reward that makes life worth living.

Today’s Application

Today most Americans raise their children in a secular environment. Today’s Biblically untutored parents raise their children with the same values that their parents passed on to them. We teach our children that what matters — what is important — is our personal status and wealth.

Hence, our  child:

  • Wants to be thought of as a good person, that is, admired. We equate that to respectability.
  • Wants a high position. We equate that with being in charge of people and material goods.
  • Wants to be rich. We equate wealth with importance and accomplishment.
  • Wants — expects — every relationship to be about “me.” Others exist to make “me” happy, including sex partners.

What we forget is that we did not create this world, much less this universe. Creation is about God. When we do not please our Creator by loving Him and each other, we cannot find happiness. God did not design us to find happiness in selfish, prideful behavior.

So what should we teach our children? What wisdom should we insist that the best and brightest among us — our leaders — learn, understand, and exhibit?

Psalm 127 New King James Version (NKJV)

Laboring and Prospering with the Lord

A Song of Ascents. Of Solomon.

127 Unless the Lord builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the Lord guards the city,
The watchman stays awake in vain.
It is vain for you to rise up early,
To sit up late,
To eat the bread of sorrows;
For so He gives His beloved sleep.

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.
Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them;
They shall not be ashamed,
But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.

What does that last verse mean? Here is a translation that provides the same idea in contemporary language.

Psalm 127:5 Living Bible (TLB)

Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them. That man shall have the help he needs when arguing with his enemies.[a]

Footnotes:

a. Psalm 127:5 when arguing with his enemies, literally, “when they speak with their enemies in the gate.”

If there is no one who knows we care about them, why should we expect anyone to care about us?

1-28-16 Republican 7th Debate: Updated With Observations

Here is a video of the full debate. No commercials.   Watching.  Comments to come. Will observe this. The journalists running the debate have overblown egos. They remind me of children in a schoolyard egging other children to fight.  Sick.

Frankly, even though I don’t support him, I don’t blame Donald Trump for sitting out the debate.  The Republican National Committee (RNC) is not doing its job. The RNC is selling out our candidates.

Fox wants ratings. The moderators want the show to be about them. In this format, the American people lose out.

OBSERVATIONS:

  1. Did Ted Cruz gain anything from being at the debate? Perhaps. He stood his ground and let the Establishment — and Fox News is part of the Establishment — openly demonstrate its hostility to him.
  2. The Establishment candidates, Bush, Christie, Kasich got a surprising amount of time and for the most part softball questions. Wonder why?
  3. The moderators used videos edited to portray Cruz and Rubio as liars.
  4. Moderators Kelly and Wallace were essentially hostile to the candidates. These two took the lead in setting the candidates against each other.
  5. The moderators gave Carson and Paul very little opportunity to talk. They did their best to take down Cruz.

Here, paraphrased somewhat, is the message I think each candidate wants to convey. Each of us needs to examine that message and determine the truth.

  • Ted Cruz:  Who do you trust? I tell the truth, and I do what I said I would do.
  • Ben Carson: Americans are scared. More of the same — more government — won’t fix our problems. It is still not too late to save our Constitution.
  • Marco Rubio:  When I am president, America’s light will shine again…..
  • Jeb Bush: I have a proven record….
  • Chris Christie:  I am a governor and a former prosecutor and tough as nails. Only a former governor is qualified to be president….
  • John Kasich:  Ohio has a great economy because I have a positive attitude.  We can, we can, we can…..
  • Rand Paul: I am for liberty, and I am the one true fiscal Conservative.

 

WE ARE ALL PILGRIMS

William Blake: Christian Reading in His Book (Plate 2, 1824–27) (from here)
William Blake: Christian Reading in His Book (Plate 2, 1824–27) (from here)
pilgrim (n.)
c. 1200, pilegrim, from Old French pelerin, peregrin “pilgrim, crusader; foreigner, stranger” (11c., Modern French pèlerin), from Late Latin pelegrinus, dissimilated from Latin peregrinus “foreigner” (source of Italian pellegrino, Spanish peregrino), from peregre (adv.) “from abroad,” from per- “beyond” + agri, locative case of ager “country” (see acre).

Change of first -r- to -l- in most Romance languages by dissimilation; the -m appears to be a Germanic modification. Pilgrim Fathers “English Puritans who founded Plymouth colony” is first found 1799 (they called themselves Pilgrims from c. 1630, in reference to Hebrew xi:13).

I have a difficult and stubborn commenter,Arkenaten, who is perfectly willing to allow his comments to go into moderation. I guess he knows I will read them.

Since I used his “name” on the THE GIFT OF LOVE, I posted one of his comments (from here) with my reply.

Arkenaten

(Arkenaten) likes to amuse him by trying to torment Christian bloggers with questions to which we have no answers. (author’s note: Here Arkenaten quotes a portion of what I said in my post.)

I believe this sentence tells the reader everything they might wish to know about Christianity.
A real gem, this. A keeper in fact.

Citizen Tom

Since I mentioned your name, one comment.

Here is my reply.

We all have questions.

Why am I here?
What is right and wrong?
What brings me meaning
What happens to a human being when I die?

Can we learn the answer to those questions? Yes.

Check out => http://josephelonlillie.com/2016/01/25/road-through-romans-seek-and-find/

Here is how he replied.

Arkenaten

We know what happens to humans when they die. They decompose.
Why do you have a problem with this?

Why did I bother? That’s a topic in the comment thread that follows WHEN LOVE BECOMES AN EXCUSE FOR TYRANNY. For example, this comment.

Necessary and Proper

@Tom and Keith,

Tom’s question to Keith (“That is, how do we persuade people to properly amend the Constitution?”) brought me full circle back to the first interchange I ever had with Keith. It was when you reblogged my first Due Process of Law article on May 25th last year, called “Can a Law Be Unlawful.” I was trying to start a train of thought that would illuminate the fact that, no matter how all the detailed x’s and o’s tactics play out in the daily political arena, the BIGGER picture is that the whole legislative and executive world is now operating in an “extra-Constitutional” manner. An alarming percentage of the federal statutes on the books, and many of the federal government’s overt actions are simply devoid of any Constitutional basis — which I asserted makes them philosophically/morally unlawful. As we’ve gotten to know each other, Keith and I have found we’re both enthusiastic advocates for an Article V Convention to amend our Constitution back towards its original intent.

I would like to reprint a comment I made back then:

[[Keith, I would also observe that it’s clear your (and Citizen Tom’s) greater interest is in “What do we do about it?”, and you’re not necessarily as interested in hearing the case for why it’s morally wrong for the government to pass bad, unconstitutional, improper, wrong, inappropriate, laws. But there are a LOT of people who would never stop to question the behavior of lawmakers like I am doing here. It’s them I am primarily addressing, not you. Why? Because I believe that educating them to question their government’s actions is THE BEST thing within my control to help “do something about it.” Clearly, the impeachment avenue that was provided by the Constitution will never seriously be used, because there’s too much political posturing and media subterfuge in the modern political arena for impeachment to be practical. So influencing moderates, independents, and new voters in their teens and twenties that they should be careful and effective with their voting power is what I’m all about….especially in this series. I’m trying to fight against the spread of moral relativism.]]

– Jeff

Jeff wrote a very thoughtful comment. Nevertheless, he is addressing Keith and myself.

When I started blogging, I focused more on politics than religion. Then I realized that our political system is collapsing because our people no longer uphold an ethical system capable of supporting a constitutional republic. So now I focus far more on the Bible and the teachings of Jesus Christ.

When I blog, like Jeff I hope that I will reach some people who have not given either Christianity or politics much thought. However, I don’t seriously expect many of those people to stop by and read my blog. Yet that is most of the electorate.

What has happened? Why is a nation that once seemed so interested in Christianity now so ignorant of it? I think the answer is our education system. We have allowed the public school system to indoctrinate successive generations of children, and that school system has left a void in the hearts of our people. Think of the idiocy. Almost no one trusts politicians, but we have put them in charge of so much that we value, including the indoctrination of our children.

With respect to Christianity, our education system has left the impression that these questions have no serious answers.

Why am I here?
What is right and wrong?
What brings me meaning
What happens to a human being when I die?

Ravi Zacharias (an expert in Christian apologetics) says there are Four Questions To Answer In Life.

Our schools avoid the Bible. When they speak of religion, they speak of religion as a source of controversy and war. Seriously, does anyone truly believe American politicians think of Islam as the religion of peace. Don’t we know that what politicians who call Islam the religion of peace think is that all religions are worthless except their own idols, power and money.

With respect to our duty to be good citizens, our education system has left the impression that all we have to do is listen to the evening news and then vote for the best man.  In fact, for the most part people do nothing. Because they never learn what to do — how they can make a difference — they do what seems easiest and leave it to “the experts.” That is exactly what most corrupt politicians would prefer they do.

So why do I blog? It is my pilgrimage. Putting my thoughts on paper and reading what others have written helps me to better understand the Bible and politics. That’s the primary reason.

For the time being, blogging also seems to be my calling. There are new Conservatives with a poor understanding of Conservatism and new Christians who need to be encouraged to read the Bible. With the help of other Christians and Conservative bloggers, those are the people I hope to reach, and those are the people I hope will talk to their friends and neighbors. If God answers our prayers, those are the people God will call upon to revive His Spirit within our nation. These people will bring the Gospel of Christ to those with ears to hear, and the Holy Spirit — if God so wills — will soften our hearts so that we can each perceive the message of Jesus Christ.